If you're at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, you have a golden opportunity to forge a memorable brand identity... especially right now while you're home social distancing. Your brand is much more than just a logo and a couple of catchy slogans.
Your brand is who you are, what your company stands for, and is the reason why customers should choose your business.
Brand development is the stage of the branding process where you formulate your brand and decide what you want your company to look like.
This should not be confused with branding in general, which is a term that is more used to describe how you communicate your brand to your target audience. Development is the starting point of building a brand. Here's how to do it the right way.
1. Brand Development Must Be Honest
Perhaps the most important brand strategy to keep in mind is honesty. Your branding must incorporate your mission statement and your values, which must be visible in all of your communications.
The first step is to figure out exactly what you want your business to achieve or provide.
Use this as a reference point for every subsequent brand development decision that you make. Customers can sense insincerity, so avoid if you can!
2. Distill Your Message
When learning how to build a brand, remember that less is more. You may have an abundance of good ideas that you can't wait to implement, but doing too much will garble the airwaves and give customers mixed signals.
Consider brand heavyweights such as Spotify or Coca Cola. Their brand is simple, straightforward, and consists of a singular message.
All of their advertisements are often minimalist and light on content. This is because a distilled brand building approach is more memorable and easier to link with your products.
3. Keep It Consistent
Every business goes through evolutionary stages. However, while growing and developing is key, so is keeping your message consistent. Building a brand that works means never straying away from your core values and identity.
Sure, you can add and take away things that aren't working. However, the central tenets of your brand identity should remain unchanged.
Branding development is an accumulative process. If you decide to keep changing your brand, you are essentially going back to square one every time. Sometimes it's necessary, I get it. But try to grow your brand, not change your brand.
4. Distinguish Yourself
It's no secret that we're in a crowded market right now. More businesses are being created in America than ever before. That means you will have to work overtime to ensure that you can stand out from the crowd.
How many "millennial-friendly" brands have you seen recently that all use the same soft pink tones, minimalist typeface, and 'sassy' slogans?
While it is fine to take inspiration from other brands, nothing is more powerful that your originality.
5. Don't Over-Extend
Especially if you have only just decided to create a brand, it is important not to spread yourself too thin.
Your products and services are the most central tenet of your brand. In order to connect with customers, it is vital to avoid over-extending yourself.
Focus on a small number of offerings that you know will work. Don't stretch too far beyond your genre or niche, at least not at first. If you do, you run the risk of undermining your brand power.
If you want to learn more about implementing a truly effective brand development strategy, I'm here to help. Don't hesitate to get in touch today for expert advice on building a brand that lasts.